Picturing our Changing World

Paekākāriki’s Felix Pharand Deschênes is playing a major role in helping define the visual narrative of the Anthropocene — the age we are now said to inhabit, a time when we as humans are exerting more influence over the planet’s environment than any other element. Mark Amery from paekakariki.nz talks to Felix about his important mahi.

With his organisation Globaia, crossing art and science, Felix uses a 3D cinematic globe to find dynamic ways to visualise data showing how we are changing our planet.

Photo: Felix Pharand Deschênes

Indeed so captivating is Globaia’s work that it features significantly in a major new Netflix documentary Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, which has also been released as a book.

Felix has created the cover for the National Geographic Atlas of the World and his work has been used by the World Economic Form, United Nations, Stockholm Resilience Centre and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation among others.

Originally from Montreal, emigrating to Aotearoa with his family courtesy of an Edmund Hillary Fellowship in 2018, Felix’s work as an artist began, he tells Mark Amery and Heather Duarte of Paekākāriki 88.2FM, through needing to find a way to illustrate the talks he was giving and trying to make people understand the significant shifts happening to our environment.

Photo: Felix Pharand Deschênes

Felix works closely with scientists to gather the data to be able to show past, present and future probable changes to our planet. Felix is keen to show both the positive alternatives for the future as well as the repercussions if we don’t make changes.

Globaïa is a non-profit NGO, says Felix, dedicated to promoting “planetary awareness and fostering planetary stewardship through the advancement of a science-based, transdisciplinary, emotion-driven and unified understanding of the great socio-ecological issues of our time.”

Photo: Felix Pharand Deschênes

Merging art and science, they “research, create and broadcast new ways to visualise and envision our teleconnected world and the ever evolving relationship between human societies, living environments, planet Earth and the Cosmos.”

Felix talks to Mark Amery and Heather Duarte of Paekākāriki 88.2FM.

Photo: Andi Crown — http://www.andicrown.com